Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bill is on his way to Chad...

He left a little while ago with his mosquito net and anti-malarial drugs.  Arranging this trip has been quite the adventure, since he had to get a visa in a hurry and ended up paying for it out of pocket.  I suspect the conditions will be austere and potentially unpleasant and I hope he doesn't bring anything too exotic back.

I'm not concerned about his chances of contracting Ebola, since that disease is typically caught when one is in close contact with someone suffering from it and they have occasion to share body fluids somehow.  What's more worrying is malaria, which is a very real threat down in Africa.  That's why Bill has a net for his bed and drugs to help ward off any diseases.

I think Bill will mostly be in a hotel-- a somewhat nice one, particularly by Chad standards.  It's owned by the Kempinski chain, though I'm not sure how that will translate in Chad.  He'll have a brief sojourn in Istanbul on the way there, and a stop in Paris on the way back.  Originally, he was going to stop in Nigeria, but that got changed for obvious reasons.  Aside from Ebola, there's also terrorism there.  I'm not sure there isn't terrorism in Chad, too, but I'm guessing it's less of a threat since Chad is now working with our military.

I'm sure this mission has a lot to do with promoting cooperation between the United States and Chad, but it's probably about oil, too.  Chad is a very poor country, but it's apparently very rich in crude oil. And according to Bill, the Chinese are also in Africa trying to develop stuff.  So we're there trying to compete with them.

I hate it when Bill goes on long trips, though sometimes he ends up with perks like massive frequent flyer miles.  What makes this trip worse is that we're still in temporary housing, although this apartment is somewhat homey as temporary housing goes.  The lady who owns it is American and seems to have done her best to make this place comfortable for her guests.  But it's still not my space.

On the other hand, I'm kind of excited for him that he gets to go to some of these exotic countries.  It brings out the ex Peace Corps Volunteer in me.  I am probably more adventurous now than I was back then, though.  At the same time, I'm less interested in giving up my creature comforts than I used to be.  Like-- I am more open to visiting developing countries now that I've lived in one.  But I don't want to deal with no running water or electricity anymore.  I mean, I certainly can if I have to... but I don't want to volunteer to do that again.  Maybe it's best that I stay in nice cushy countries like Germany.

Maybe later, I will rant about something.  I'm sure I'll be bored enough to find a suitable topic. 

4 comments:

  1. Good luck to your husband in Chad

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    1. Thanks! He's there now and apparently, it was a hell of a ride to the hotel.

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  2. chad would make me a bit bervous, too, though as Africa goes, it may be among the lesser of the dangersous places. i started to say "lesser of the evils," but decided that might come across as racist. I can't claim to be 100% prejudice-free, but i'm working on it, and i try not to say or write things that ar4e blatantly offensive in that regard.

    How is the Lt. Col, Ret.'s hotel?

    I always wanted to go to Istanbul, brobably because my dad used to sing that song about "Istanbul was Constantinople. now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople" when Matthew and i were little.

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  3. I don't know what his impressions of the hotel are yet. He says WiFi is slow, so he only managed to send a very brief email and Facebook sign in. He did say that on the way to the hotel in the cab, they got stopped by guards with AK47s. Aw hell, here's his post:

    Just got through a bunch of mask-covered, gloved health workers at the N'Djamena airport. Got flea bombed on the plane too! And you can't beat that cab ride, full speed through the city to the airport. I got a little nervous when the driver was stopped by AK-47 wielding Soldiers. I think he was speeding...

    Istanbul is a beautiful, amazing, exotic city. I was last there in 1996, though, and dirt poor. I'd love to go back, especially since I'm not as broke now as I was in 1996. Also, I now have a husband, which may make the harassment from the locals less intense.

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